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Here’s your TL;DR for this week’s digital marketing news: 6/29/2015

This week in digital marketing news, Google Trends gets a makeover, press release mistakes you don’t want to get caught doing, social marketing strategy for your company, and find out if your inbound marketing strategy can work with an outdated website design.

Google Trends Gets A Makeover
Google Trends update 2015
Christmas came early for content marketers. Last week, Google rolled out its biggest update to Google Trends since 2012. What does this lovely update bring? Real-time data and a redesigned and innovative homepage. The three biggest features users were looking for included real-time information, a focus on storytelling, and curated data sets. So that’s exactly what Google gave them.
The homepage of Google Trends now presents you with a list of featured stories based on what’s trending across Google Search, YouTube, and Google News. Selecting a topic will take you to a page that includes the most relevant articles, interest by region, trending searches, and more.
“Google Trends has always been a potentially viable resource for finding interesting outlets that positively relate to your organization’s brand. However, this new update will empower this tool to provide users with real-time information, better coverage, and a deeper level of knowledge free of cost, helping Google remain at the top of the search engine food chain.” – Rachel Wanless, inbound marketing coordinator
Don’t Be Caught Making These Press Release Mistakes
4 press release practices that are out of date
Press releases have come a long way over the last few decades and with this progress came a change in structure and goals. The press release of 2015 includes digital assets, well-placed quality links, great headlines, and persuasive calls to action. However, there are a few common mistakes that we need to get out of the habit of making:

  • “For Immediate Release”
    • Many PR practitioners were taught to include this statement at the top of a press release to tell journalists when the item should be published. With press releases now being digitally distributed, it’s assumed they are ready for immediate release.
  • Embargoes
    • If you want to offer an embargoed exclusive to the media, you should not be pitching the same story to other media sites. If you are going to pitch an exclusive to a journalist, wait until he or she has published the story to distribute your press release to the rest of the media.
  • Hashtags and pound signs
    • In the past, press releases closed with “###,” which indicated that the text was over. Readers today now see the boilerplate and understand the release has come to an end. This helps with confusion, as pound signs are now read as hashtags thanks to social media. #EvolveorDie
  • Datelines
    • Including the year of a press release was not previously required as the content was either filed away or disappeared within a few weeks. Nowadays, press releases are discoverable for an indefinite amount of time, thanks to website archives and search engines. Including the year helps readers determine the age of the information.

Is Your Business Having Trouble with Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing platforms
If social media marketing isn’t working for your business, you need to figure out why. There’s always a reason something isn’t hitting the mark.
Check out these four common reasons social media marketing keeps you from being a successful as possible:

  • You’re trying to establish a presence on every platform.
    • With dozens of modern and innovative social media platforms popping up every month, it’s normal to want to be a part of the fun. However, it’s impossible for your business to be everywhere, all the time. Start with the platform the majority of your target market uses. Once you have that platform thriving, you can move on to a second one.
  • You are broadcasting sales pitches instead of building relationships.
    • The last thing people want to see in their newsfeeds is a sales pitch. Social media is about building relationships, which in turn will acquire sales. Ask your audience questions, get to know them, show them that you care.
  • You are doing too much online.
    • There are varying opinions on how many times a day you should post. However, the majority of people agree that over-posting isn’t advisable. Even if you are offering quality content, you don’t want to cloud your followers’ newsfeeds and annoy them to the point that they unfollow you.
  • You are trying to do it all yourself – and run your business.
    • For most business owners, it’s best to hire someone to handle their social media marketing. Your primary job is to do what you love. Designers need to be designing, photographers need to be taking pictures and so on. You risk spreading yourself too thin if you try to take on too much. So leave it to the experts!

“First rule of social? Be social. As simple as that sounds, many brands forget that the value of social marketing is in the conversation – not the promotion. I heard something once that really stuck with me… you aren’t successful on social media until people are talking about you on social media – without prompting, without agenda, and without incentive. To reach this level, you need to know your audience and how they behave on each social network. This leads me to rule No. 2. Each social network is its own special snowflake, so treat it as such! You don’t have to be everywhere at once, but do it well wherever you are.” – Alana White, social media coordinator
Can Inbound Marketing Work on an Outdated Website?
Can inbound marketing work on an outdated website?
The short answer to this question is no. No, you can’t use your inbound marketing strategy to its full potential with an outdated website. Think of inbound marketing and website strategy like peanut butter and jelly – you can’t have one without the other. Well… you can, it will just taste like something is missing.
Consider the following:

  • Website Structure
    • Your inbound marketing strategy should dictate how your website is built. Factor in functionality such as landing pages, CTAs, etc.
  • Content Creation
    • Content is the foundation of your website and inbound marketing. Refresh outdated content, implement new keywords, and create additional pages where needed to support these efforts.
  • User Experience
    • A website should be built and written for your company’s core buyer personas. These personas should dictate the flow of your site map.
  • Website Checklist
    • Is the layout optimal for what I want users to accomplish on the page?
    • Are my users seeing the content I want them to see?
    • Are my users finding what they’re looking for on the page?
    • Are my calls to action motivating or visible enough?
    • What links are users clicking?

“In today’s world of ’getting your name out there‘ with social media and digital PR, a lot of business owners can forget that the strongest weapon you possess to achieve your ROI goals is your own website. You can build brand awareness all you want through marketing initiatives, but if your site cannot fulfill a user’s needs or match his or her buying process, you’re not getting that coveted lead or that conversion. You have to build the foundation before you build the house – not the other way around.” – Stefanie D’Aulizio, director of inbound marketing
Check out the full articles here:
Google Trends Gets A Makeover
Don’t Be Caught Making These Press Release Mistakes
Is Your Business Having Trouble with Social Media Marketing?
Can Inbound Marketing Work on an Outdated Website?

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